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Lake Wenatchee Fall Colors in Washington

Absorb magnetic autumnal vibes on scenic hikes and drives in the heart of the state park

Lake Wenatchee Fall Colors
Lake Wenatchee Fall Colors

Lake Wenatchee, located in the heart of 489-acre (198-ha) Lake Wenatchee State Park, is one of the loveliest spots near Leavenworth, especially during the fall foliage season. This lake boasts over 12,000 feet (3,660 m) of waterfront, dotted with trees ablaze with yellow, orange, and red from the last week of September to mid-October, not to mention the dazzling reflections on the lake. All in all, the place is a charming, peaceful gateway to your perfect autumnal retreat. Yet, you can roam around and discover more splendor nearby.

Dirty Face Trail & Hidden Lake Trail

If you're into hiking, consider Dirty Face Lookout and Peak Trail, starting from the northwest banks of Lake Wenatchee. The 9-mile (15-km) loop with a 3,950 feet (6,356 km) elevation gain ensures a decent workout and rewarding vistas with gorgeous fall colors. Alternatively, opt for a Hidden Lake Lookout Trail, with an equally challenging and spectacular 8.5-mile (13.5-km) route. The trailhead is nestled on the lake's southwest banks. Even though the elevation gain is only 3,390 feet (1,030 m), the estimated time needed to tackle the track is about 6 hours. So we recommend saving a good day for each of these scenic hikes.

Lake Wenatchee Loop

Would you like to take in fall foliage from the comfort of your car? Then, embark on a picturesque Lake Wenatchee Loop, revealing the natural beauty of Wenatchee National Forest and the Leavenworth area. But the favorite part of the itinerary must be the magnificent Wenatchee Lake itself. Suppose you start driving from Leavenworth, then follow US 2 W to WA 207 N and turn onto the Lake Wenatchee Highway. The out-and-back drive is about 80 miles (129 km) long and takes nearly 1.5 hours to complete. But you might also wish to extend your trip and explore White River Road or Little Wenatchee Road, branching off the Highway.

As for your stay, you could use the year-round campgrounds in Lake Wenatchee's North Park, while the campsites in the South Park operate mainly through mid-September or early October. Also, examine our map, offering available accommodations nearby. The last tip: in the External Resources, you will find the Washington State Park's official website, providing all additional information on visiting Lake Wenatchee.

Practical info

When should one visit Lake Wenatchee to see the fall colors?

Lake Wenatchee is best viewed to see the fall colors during the last week of September to mid-October. The trees surrounding the lake showcase vibrant colors, including yellow, orange, and red hues. The ideal view of the autumn foliage can be best experienced within these time frames. Show more

What are the locations of the trailheads for the Dirty Face and Hidden Lake Trail close to Lake Wenatchee?

Dirty face trailhead is located on the northwest banks of Lake Wenatchee, while Hidden Lake Lookout Trail's trailhead is found on the southwest banks. Make sure to carry adequate hiking gear, water bottles, hiking boots and poles if planning to embark on these trails. These trails provide a challenging yet breathtaking view of the autumn foliage. Show more

How does one classify the difficulty level of Dirty Face Trail and Hidden Lake Trail?

Dirty Face Trail encompasses a 9-mile (15-km) loop, with an elevation gain of 3,950 feet (6,356 m), and is considered a challenging hike. Hidden Lake Trail, stretching to 8.5 miles (13.5 km) long, has an elevation gain of 3,390 feet (1,030 m), and both its steep inclines and rocky terrains pose a challenge as well. Hikers should plan an entire day for each trail and bring along proper hiking gear. Show more

Where can one locate accommodations suitable for an autumnal retreat close to Lake Wenatchee?

Visitors who desire to stay closer to Lake Wenatchee during an autumnal retreat can choose to put up at one of the year-round campgrounds available in Lake Wenatchee's North Park. South Park's campsites, however, mainly operate till mid-September or early October. The park region offers various accommodation options, i.e., cabins, lodges, and vacation rentals with front-row views of the autumn foliage. Show more

Are there more scenic drives to explore around Lake Wenatchee?

Apart from the renowned Lake Wenatchee Loop, other scenic drives to embrace around the lake are White River Road and Little Wenatchee Road. These traversable forests offer breathtaking scenic drives that lead to other routes with picturesque landscapes, including mountains, valleys, and forests. Remember to bring a camera to capture the breathtaking autumn views surrounding you! Show more

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Last updated: by Olha Savych